Adventures in Southern Seas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 245 pages of information about Adventures in Southern Seas.

During the morning of the next day, when we knew that the crocodile would be asleep in his cave, Sylvia and I went together to the road which the reptile had made, by the weight of his body, to his usual watering-place.

Here, with such rude implements as the islanders possessed, we dug a trench the width of the road, and for some distance along it.  At the bottom of the trench we laid a stout log, in which was firmly fixed my manchette, its sharp point upward.  We then filled up the trench with soft sand, and retired to the place of vantage which I had occupied the previous day, and from which we could see the crocodile make his evening raid.  Towards sundown he came forth with a rush among the terrified goats, four of which he slew with a stroke from his powerful tail, after which he proceeded to drag their mangled carcases into his lair.  We waited an hour, when, just before sundown, the reptile came forth again on his way to the water.  We watched him with bated breath, and Sylvia, who now, for the first time, began to understand the trap I had set, could hardly contain her excitement.  When the crocodile came to the sand-pit we had dug on the road he sank down, when the sharp blade of the manchette entered his breast, and as he dashed forward, rove him to the navel, so that he died on the spot in the greatest agony.

Sylvia now summoned the islanders to see my work.  They came from all parts, and raised so great a shout when they saw their enemy dead that the sound of it reached the wise-ones on the mountain-tops, who peered down at the beast where he lay in a morass of blood which deluged the sand so that it ran into the stream, dyeing the water a deep red.

The death of the reptile, and the craft and cunning I had displayed in the killing of it, so impressed the Amazons that they came to me in a body, with Sylvia as their mouthpiece, asking me to stay and be their king, nor did the wise-ones raise any objection to this proposal.  But although I admired Sylvia, I had no desire to spend the rest of my days at Engano, not even as King of the Amazons.  I therefore answered that my comrades were no doubt looking for me, nor would they continue their voyage home until all hope of my rescue had been abandoned, and I reminded the wise-ones of the promise they had made me of safe conduct back to my vessel, in case I should succeed in ridding the island of their enemy.  The justice of my claim was not to be denied, and with the dawn of the morrow the wise-ones undertook to ascertain the direction in which the ship lay and to send me aboard her.

That evening a feast was held in my honour; some of the men from the Male Island came over, by special permission of the wise-ones, in order to be present, and to see the man who had slain the monster against which they had been unable to prevail.

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Adventures in Southern Seas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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